The story of the yara
Alonzo, a young man living in a small village, finds himself exceptionally vulnerable after speaking with his future wife, Julia. Julia warns Alonzo of the dangers that reside in the ponds in which he bathes every night. She tells him that the Yara, an evil spirit, haunts the forests where the pools lay. Julia also makes sure that Alonzo is aware of the major consequence: death. The beautiful maiden gives him a shell so that her voice can be heard instead of the evil spirit’s voice. When the young man returns to the pools, he sees the Yara, just as Julia had warned. Alonzo flees the forest, for he needs to re- enter with better preparation. Upon his final journey, Alonzo discovers that his weapons are not strong enough, and he will need to conjure up a better idea. He remembers Julia’s shell, and quickly pulls it out and places it next to his ear. The voice of his promised wife swells, and the Yara disappears. Alonzo is safe and sound, as long as he does not return to the forest.
Similarly to many fairy tales, “The Story of the Yara” begins with ‘there once lived.’ Soon after, Alonzo, the protagonist, is introduced. He is later presented with an ordeal that he must overcome. Alonzo stumbles upon an an evil spirit that wishes to kill him. The Yara resides in the forest in the village, and when it confronts the young man, Alonzo barely escapes with his life. Alonzo, however, has no connection to royalty in this story. Instead, he has a role of leadership and is looked up to by many of the people in the small settlement. One of these people is a maiden named Julia, who gives him a magical shell so that her voice can be heard when the Yara’s presence is near. Alonzo soon is forced to use the seashell. “Out of it’s depths arose the voice of Julia singing” sweeter than the evil spirit (Lang). Alonzo focuses on the shell “until the mist” “fade[s] away” and the problem that he faced is resolved (Lang). The number three played a very important role in this tale. The progression of evil, which somewhat defines this story, is portrayed in three steps. To start, Alonzo “hear[s] the song” of the Yara (Lang). Next “come[s] the apparition” that frightens him greatly (Lang). “After that,” Alonzo has a near “death” experience with the Yara (Lang). Along with this evil, Alonzo is also depicted venturing to the ponds three times. Assumptions can be made based on previous evidence that he goes more than once, but Alonzo only has three trips that are described.
Connection to brazil
Throughout this story, clues that prove this is a Brazilian fairy tale can be found. At the beginning of this story, the author mentions the immense heat, which matches the climate of Brazil. This heat plays a big part, for it is what causes Alonzo to be drawn to the cool ponds. A green forest is also included in the story. The Yara and the pools are located in said forest. This piece of the tale matches the physical characteristics of Brazil. The South American country has a varied landscape that includes many large forests.